So I did a little research on the internet. (It did not help much.) Then I stood in front of the endless display of hair dye at Target today and after 30 minutes, picked one that seemed like it might not turn my hair orange.
"10 minutes!" the box proudly touted. I will go on the record here and say that 10 minutes may be the amount of actual time the dye has to sit on the hair, but the dying process took much, much longer than that. First I had to read the instructions a dozen times. Remember, I have never done this before and it involves altering what many women consider their most important feature. To say it's scary is an understatement. Although, I guess it wasn't scary enough to cause me to actually do the strongly suggested allergy test 48 hours before using the product. I also opted to skip the "strand test" I had read about online. The strand test is designed to see what a piece of hair turns out like before globbing the dye all over. Allergy tests and strand tests are for wimps. I was diving in blind.
I also had to take time to search for old towels and decide what to wear. I finally just went naked and secured a large towel around my neck with a clothespin. I told you I was new at this.
The 10 minutes was also greatly augmented by the fact that my hair is extremely long and thick, and I had no clue what I was doing. It took a full 20 minutes just to get all the dye applied. The hair I started with was way past the 10 minute mark by then, and the hair I ended with might have only gotten about 5 minutes of dye. Thankfully, this didn't cause any problems.
At one point, a large strand of freshly dyed hair fell across my forehead and caused an immediate red mark and burning sensation. I pretty much freaked out. I was regretting not doing the allergy test, praying, ripping off one plastic glove, and feverishly scrubbing my face with a fresh wet washcloth. Thankfully, there were no lasting problems here either. I think I acted quickly enough to minimize the irritation.
It turned out that applying the dye was actually the easy part. Getting into a shower and rinsing out the dye is a nightmare. There was brown everywhere. I was continuously fearful of getting dye in my eyes, or burning all my skin off with harmful chemicals as the dye washed down my body. I worried that the water might never run clear...that my eyes would burn...I wondered if I was even close to doing this right.
Finally the rinsing was over, the conditioner applied, and I was breathing easier. After toweling my hair dry I could already tell that I was going to be happy with the new look. My hair is all the same dark brown color now, no more two-tone look for me. The gray hairs are also brown, though a bit lighter in shade which make them look like nice highlights.
The entire process took an hour and will wash away in 28 shampoos, or so it says. I guess I'll be doing this again in 6 weeks. I hope that it only gets easier.